“From delivering 4 babies in December 2019 to 22 booked in for December 2023” — that’s the impressive metric Dr Charlotte Paull, Obstetrician, Gynaecologist, and Partner at Glow Specialists, proudly cites to showcase the remarkable growth of her four-year-old private medical practice.
Sitting amidst a collection of heartfelt cards from new mothers expressing gratitude for the exceptional care and quality of service provided, Charlotte shared the trials of transitioning into business ownership after university.
“I dedicated 14 years to training before co-founding Glow Specialists. Six years of undergraduate medicine, followed by two years of general training, and another six years in specialised training,” Charlotte explained. “Yet, nothing has been as daunting as starting a business.”
Glow Specialists, situated adjacent to Ashford Hospital off Anzac Highway, is a female-led private practice, specialising in gynaecology, obstetrics, laparoscopy, and women’s health.
“University educates you extensively for a medical career, but there’s no playbook for entrepreneurship,” Charlotte shared.
“Medicine comes naturally to me. However, navigating the complexities of a business, overseeing growth, managing staff, administrative tasks, and the responsibilities that come with being an owner, that’s what feels daunting.”
Despite administrative challenges on the business side, Glow Specialists shines in a positive and upward trajectory.
“In the coming month, we’re excited to welcome a fourth doctor to our practice,” said Charlotte. “In a field where we are on call 24/7 delivering babies, having an additional practitioner will significantly alleviate the shared workload.”
Expressing excitement at the imminent arrival of a new specialist at Glow, Charlotte also highlighted the substantial benefit it brings to the business side of the practice.
“Our new partner is an established private clinician and upon joining us she will bring significant growth from her existing patient base,” Charlotte elaborated.
The business of babies is strong. According to a 2020 report by SA Health, births in private maternity units accounted for approximately 20% of all births in South Australia, a number she mentions is contributing to a steady rise for practices like Glow Specialists.
“Unlike many other businesses, we operated at full capacity during the pandemic,” she noted. “Surprisingly, things got even busier for us; more families welcomed children into their lives.”
With four years of consistent growth, Glow Specialists has displayed resilience against many challenges faced by businesses, especially during the pandemic, though it’s not immune to the current economic conditions.
“Pressures of rising living costs have affected young families, which form our primary market,” Charlotte acknowledged. “As budgets tighten, healthcare spending often decreases for many.”
Charlotte highlighted the increased overall cost of doing business but emphasised her reluctance to transfer these costs directly to patients due to the nature of their services.
“Cost of doing business concerns not only us but many business owners,” she said.
According to the South Australian Business Chamber, William Buck September survey of business expectations, the cost of doing business was reported as the biggest concern for business owners, who cited energy prices and rising wages as responsible for eroding profit margins.